“Fugues in Color” will present works through which paint is free to escape the limited scope of the canvas. Colours and shapes discover new freedoms as they consume the surrounding spaces, such as the walls, floor, and ceiling. The diverse variations of colour extend into the architecture in close interaction with the Frank Gehry-designed building, and include works by five internationally-renowned artists of various origins and generations.
The exhibition will present works by Sam Gilliam (United States, 1933), Steven Parrino (United States, 1958-2005) and Niele Toroni (Switzerland/France, 1937), thanks to considerable loans from public and private national and international institutions. It will also feature two unprecedented installations created especially for Fondation Louis Vuitton, by Katharina Grosse (Germany, 1961) and Megan Rooney (Canada, 1985).
Intermingling painting, architecture and performance art, Megan Rooney lays claim to an open-air gallery to create a pictorial landscape in which the non-figuration is based on the evocation of reality. The artist uses a variety of tools to apply paint to the wall, producing an immersive realm of coloured vibrations through strokes spurred by the body’s movements in relation with the setting.
Hanging at the entrance of the exhibition is a historic array of Drapes crafted by Sam Gilliam in the late 1960s, shown here for the first time in France. These coloured canvases, which hang freely in space and form the foundations of his visual technique, marked a major turning point in the history of American abstract art.
Juxtaposed with these are an array of Misshaped Canvas by Steven Parrino. Placed on the floor or mounted on frames, these canvases reveal black-and-white vertical bands or a single colour (black, pink, silver) to question the nature of the pictorial medium, between image and object, and are not without references to the popular and underground cultures of the United States.
Niele Toroni’s brush stamps can be discovered on a number of mediums, including canvas, waxed canvas, wood and paper, in a collection of works. The rigidity and consistency of this method, which he established in 1967, does not exclude an infinite number of variations according to the support, the colour, the intensity of the stroke, and so on.
Meanwhile, Katharina Grosse, a veteran of in situ interventions, a dynamic structure composed of overlapping triangular shapes into Gallery 10. Paintings across the wall, the ground and the wooden structure, Grosse turns the space into an “interface between painting and daylight” and participates in the propulsion of colour in a flamboyant choreography of great momentum.
General curator: Suzanne Pagé
Exhibition curators: Ludovic Delalande, Nathalie Ogé and Claire Staebler, with Claudia Buizza